New York Knicks Rumors: Is Cameron Payne In Play At 4th Pick?


New York Knicks Rumors: Could Cameron Payne Be A Darkhorse With The No.4 Pick For The Knicks?

Leading up to the 2015 NBA Draft on June 25th, there will be plenty of news and rumors regarding prospects, as teams and agents alike try and release ‘news’ that may affect a player positively or negatively, trying to steer them in a certain direction. For the New York Knicks, this is something that will happen often, as they gauge interest in the pick in addition to scouting players and seeing who would be a fit with their system with that pick. While many people expect someone from the quartet of Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay to be their pick, you can never be certain until the names are called on the stage.

The Knicks have been rumored to be fans of Duke Blue Devils versatile forward Justise Winslow for his ability to play defense on the perimeter. Defense is also the reason they seem to be highly interested in Towns’ teammate at Kentucky Willie Cauley-Stein, who is thought of as the best big man defender and rim protector in the paint. But like we mentioned before, until names are called nothing is set in stone, so the Knicks could fall in love with another player and take him with the fourth pick in the draft. There seems to be a player that could fit that bill, and it is Murray State point guard Cameron Payne.

Payne, who stand 6-feet-2 inches tall, is a player that the Knicks are expected to seriously consider when the draft rolls around in late June according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York. They are expected to take a serious look at him, and the fact that a workout has been scheduled according to Marc Spears shows that the Knicks are serious.

As Spears notes, Payne is shooting up draft boards are teams are quickly becoming enamored with the Murray State product. Teams right below the Knicks in the draft, such as the Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder, have been rumored to be interested in Payne as well, which could be a reason why the Knicks are interested.

A couple of the players the Knicks like look as if they will be available a little later on the in first round, so why not look like they are interested in a player such as Payne that seemingly has plenty of suitors and try working out a trade? If the Knicks look like they will take him with the fourth pick, they could be the team on the offensive in trade negotiations for once and get back a package that includes younger players and or multiple picks.

The Knicks are lacking much in the way of assets or real NBA talent, so trading back and acquiring more has to be something on their minds head throughout this process. Nothing can be off the table, as the Knicks have to be open to any idea that can improve the currently bleak outlook of the team.

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Payne, who stand 6-feet-1 ½ inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has lengthy arms, as his wingspan is 6-feet-7 ¼ inches, which could make him a pest in the passing lanes. He also has solid athleticism with a 35 ½ inch max vertical.

While some people will point out that Payne did not play a power six school, instead at a mid-major in Murray State, you cannot argue with the stats he put up. As a sophomore, Payne dominated the Ohio Valley Conference, as he averaged 20.2 points, 6.0 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.

What makes those stats so impressive is that he shoulder so much of the load for the Racers, yet was still able to stay efficient and not turn the ball over. He had a usage rate of 32 percent, yet turned the ball over only 2.5 times per game with a 39.5 assist percentage and 57 true shooting percentage.

Those types of numbers would make any team intrigued, as Payne has the looks of a solid NBA player. But for the Knicks, especially at the fourth pick, it would be hard to imagine Payne being their choice, especially is Russell or Mudiay are available. At this stage of the game, it seems as though the Knicks are just doing their due diligence with Payne, preparing themselves in case they do in fact trade down, as they should.

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